4 years ago

The study of trypanosome species circulating in domestic animals in two human African trypanosomiasis foci of Côte d'Ivoire identifies pigs and cattle as potential reservoirs of <i>Trypanosoma brucei gambiense</i>

Philippe Solano, Bamoro Coulibaly, Thierry De Meeûs, Martial Kassi N’Djetchi, Jacques Kaboré, Dramane Kaba, Hamidou Ilboudo, Fabrice Courtin, Mathurin Koffi, Pierre Fauret, Justin Windingoudi Kaboré, Vincent Jamonneau, Sophie Ravel, Stijn Deborggraeve, Lingué Kouakou, Bruno Bucheton

Important control efforts have led to a significant reduction of the prevalence of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) in Côte d’Ivoire, but the disease is still present in several foci. The existence of an animal reservoir of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense may explain disease persistence in these foci where animal breeding is an important source of income but where the prevalence of animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) is unknown. The aim of this study was to identify the trypanosome species circulating in domestic animals in both Bonon and Sinfra HAT endemic foci.

Methodology/Principal findings

552 domestic animals (goats, pigs, cattle and sheep) were included. Blood samples were tested for trypanosomes by microscopic observation, species-specific PCR for T. brucei sl, T. congolense, T. vivax and subspecies-specific PCR for T. b. gambiense and T. b. gambiense immune trypanolysis (TL). Infection rates varied significantly between animal species and were by far the highest in pigs (30%). T. brucei s.l was the most prevalent trypanosome species (13.7%) followed by T. congolense. No T. b. gambiense was identified by PCR while high TL positivity rates were observed using T. b. gambiense specific variants (up to 27.6% for pigs in the Bonon focus).


This study shows that domestic animals are highly infected by trypanosomes in the studied foci. This was particularly true for pigs, possibly due to a higher exposure of these animals to tsetse flies. Whereas T. brucei s.l. was the most prevalent species, discordant results were obtained between PCR and TL regarding T. b. gambiense identification. It is therefore crucial to develop better tools to study the epidemiological role of potential animal reservoir for T. b. gambiense. Our study illustrates the importance of “one health” approaches to reach HAT elimination and contribute to AAT control in the studied foci.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005993

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